The Straits Times published a new article today (5 October 2016) stating that more than 700 people have been caught for illegal riding/ cycling. In addition, due to the lack of legislation, cyclists and PMD users do not face fines now but they might do so in the future.
While there have been no comparative figures to compare the figures, it raises a very important question. It is clear that cycling and MD devices are getting more popular and if so, what is the government going to do about it ? The increase in traffic offences indirectly implies that the number of people who took up cycling and PMD has increased. Are the offences happening due to a lack of clear guidelines ? Or more importantly, a lack of space?
There have been no breakdown of the age group and gender involved. The evolution of the bicycles. to electrically powered PMD is a fast and recent change. Where in the past one would use his own power to get to their destination, now one can simply switch a motor and go around to their desires. Catching old men on their illegal e-bicycles is not the way to go. Instead, go after the shops who sells the illegal modification, consumers should not suffer at the expense of profiteering commercial firms.
Singapore may not have the cycling lanes of the Netherlands nor it is even on par with the infrastructure in China, but it has taken the first few painful steps of implementing some form of bike structure. The huge number of offenders would mean that the Government would need some form of structure quick, and fast. Building long pathways to nowhere will not simply work, people pick up bicycles and PMD is to simply get to their destination quicker. The future is unclear, but simply cut and paste another country’s model will not work.